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Title: The language and copying practices of three early medieval cartulary scribes at Worcester
Author: Wiles, Katherine
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis investigates the factors that influence the ways in which scribes copied Old English in charter texts. These factors include: the training scribes received in learning to write Old English and to copy texts; the role of the Anglo-Saxon scriptorium and the environment in which scribes worked; and the role of training and scriptorial influence in the development of a scribe’s written system. This investigation has highlighted, in particular, the lack of information about how scribes were trained in Old English compared to what is known of their training in Latin and in script acquisition. To investigate these factors, this thesis uses a comparative study of the work of the scribe of the eleventh-century Worcester Nero Middleton cartulary, copying the texts S 1280 and S 1556 from the early eleventh-century cartulary Liber Wigorniensis. The data is taken directly from the manuscripts and from original transcriptions of each charter copy, which provides evidence not available in editions. This study demonstrates the worth of studying later copies of texts, in particular of charters. It also shows the wealth of information to be found in the work of copying scribes. The study of the Nero Middleton scribe’s work has shown that scribal copying is not simply the application of one system (the copying scribe’s) onto another (the exemplar’s). In the two texts studied, this scribe exhibits different behaviours, varying in ways which are not the result of influence from their exemplar, but which suggest that their copying style and written system is changeable. From this it can be concluded that the scribes underwent some training in writing Old English which formalized aspects of their written conventions, but that much of the scribes’ conventions appear to have been influenced by the collaborative environment of the scriptorium in which they worked.
Supervisor: Da Rold, Orietta ; Shaw, Philip ; Flynn, Bill ; Swan, Mary Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available